AQA GCSE Chemistry

Revision Notes

9.2.3 Global Climate Change

The Effects of Climate Change

  • The vast majority of climate scientists agree that increasing levels of greenhouse gases are causing the average temperature of the Earth to increase
  • Temperature increases are leading to climate change
  • Climate change is when there is a long term shift in world wide weather patterns and conditions

Rising Sea Levels

  • The melting of the polar ice caps and glaciers is leading to rising sea levels
  • This results in destructive erosion to coastal regions, flooding of wetlands and habitat destruction for birds, fish and plants
  • Low lying cities are likely to see increased flooding and permanent loss of usable land without expensive barrier systems
  • Increased soil salinity is also a consequence of rising sea levels

Frequent and intense droughts

  • Some regions are seeing devastating droughts leading to crop failure and collapse of agricultural production
  • Food production is greatly compromised leading to hardship and starvation


  • The intensity of storms is increasing
  • Warmer ocean surfaces mean more moisture is entering the atmosphere so storms and hurricanes are more energetic and destructive

Extreme heat waves and rainfall

  • Extreme weather events are becoming more frequent resulting in great loss of life and destruction of infrastructure and ecosystems
  • Changing rainfall patterns are leading to uneven distribution of freshwater supplies
    • Lack of reliable freshwater supplies results in economic and political instability as neighbouring countries compete for dwindling resources

Exam Tip

You should be able to discuss four effects of climate change.

Author: Francesca

Fran has taught A level Chemistry in the UK for over 10 years. As head of science, she used her passion for education to drive improvement for staff and students, supporting them to achieve their full potential. Fran has also co-written science textbooks and worked as an examiner for UK exam boards.

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